The North Orissa University (NOU) was established in the year 1998 vide Government of Orissa notification No.-32930/HE dated 13th July 1998.The University is recognized by the University Grants Commission under Sections 2(f) and 12(B) of UGC Act,1956 with effect from 15.02.2000 and 21.06.2006,respecively.It is recognized by Bar Council of India and DEC,IGNOU/UGC. North Orissa University is included in the list of Association of Indian Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities. The University is also accredited by National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore with B grade with effect from 10th January, 2011. The territorial jurisdiction of the University covers Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of northern part of Orissa. These two districts are thickly populated with tribal population with an average of 63% inhabitants belonging to the Scheduled Tribes. There are 80 affiliated colleges, both general and professional, catering to the demand of higher education. As development depends crucially upon human capital, NOU shall act as a beacon light to this region so as to pull up the underprivileged youth to the national mainstream of art, culture, science and technology..
The Honorable Governor of Orissa is the Chancellor of the University . Prof. Prafulla Kumar Mishra as the Vice Chancellor heads the University presently and the Syndicate acts as the highest executive body.